Welcome to my instructable on extreme creek fishing,...Or for lack of a better description,the" I can't sit still long enough to fish the normal way, (with bait) instructable." I hope you enjoy my efforts to show you how to "hunt for fish".
As always, I welcome comments, both good and bad.
As an avid hunter, I own two compounds and a recurve bow. I use the compounds for deer hunting quite often and did not want to alter either one. This made my recurve the prime target when the urge hit me to get back into bow fishing. Not wanting to damage my recurve any, I decided to make my fishing setup attachable without any drilling.As a result,"Bobby's back woods bow fishing kit"was born.

sad foot note;As much as i wish to claim "i invented this",i cannot,after assembly and testing i thought to search the web and found i had been beaten by others, the bucket idea had already been used. After a brief moment of sadness i said "oh well,at least i have not seen it on instructables yet" hence, Bobby's backwoods bow fishing kit is born.
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Step 1: Materials needed

Picture of Materials needed
I will not specify any tools used as I believe that everyone will use whatever they have available to work with.
But as for an items needed list, we will start with:
#1 a bow,compound or recurve,it is your choice
#2 a bucket,it can be a bottle,coffee container or in my case a five gallon bucket
#3 hose clamps, or duct tape once again you decide from what you have available
#4 strong string,i had mason string so that is what i chose
#5 L-brackets
#6 a few bolts and nuts,washers if you want
Now on to the beginning stages of assembly.
Total cost is my favorite part of this instructable as everything used was salvaged from previous projects and no longer in use for said projects.........Total cost........$ 0.00 $.
Total benifits,exercise,improved aim and skill with bow,(some fish dont give you much time to shoot), and food for the table( I only hunt what i can eat )

Step 2: Getting started

Picture of Getting started
Remove top of bucket by cutting just under the largest collar shown in first picture .Save the collar,this is the part you need.The lower 2/3rd can be used as a planter somewhere else.

Step 3: Snug fit

Picture of Snug fit
Place bucket collar on a flat surface with largest collar up,this will be the side that makes contact with the bow.
The bow will be balanced with the arrow rest in middle of opening. You will be shooting through the middle of the opening.
As you can see from the first picture I marked a spot to notch the collar for a tight fit,I did this to both points that the bow came into contact with. I just estimated the depth and free handed the notch drawing with a magic marker.I wasn't to worried about precision here, my next available tool was a grinder, but a pair of scissors,snips or a pocket knife will do.Dont forget to use caution as well.
The second and third picture show the formed fit i just cut(ground) out.

Step 4: Attaching to bow

Picture of Attaching to bow
Low and behold you can't find anything when you need it. I looked high and low for L-brackets and could not find any.
It is time to go to my ;
 pile to find a solution. After several minutes looking through my C.R.A.P. pile i did locate a couple of L-brackets and I am now back in business.
Placing the newly found brackets on the inside of bucket top, I placed bolts from outside in,(this will allow free string movement, as the threads will be to the inside of the circle and the string will be to the outside.
Now it is finally time to attach to the bow with ,in my case ,hose clamps.I chose to use clamps for two reasons,first i had them,and second i wanted to be able to disassemble it later for rabbit season and not have any damage done to my bow.
I only had one hose clamp available,so a quick youtube search on how to make a homemade clamp,and another trip to my C.R.A.P. pile i was back on track. Of course my homemade clamp was made with what i had available(plumbers tape) so it is not as pretty as the one on youtube but it works just the same.

Step 5: String winding time

Picture of String winding time
Your string must be solidly attached to your bow,if it is not, a larger fish might suprise you by swimming with your arrow to the limits of your winding. So first i will start by securing string to top of bow just below bucket ring(your choice of knots). Then,since i am right handed and will be holding bow with my left, it feels natural to wind string in a clockwise motion while holding bow. your natural tendencies might incline you to go against the grain and wind counter clockwise,just let me warn you right now, this will not effect the outcome of your shooting what-so-ever,so go ahead and do what feels natural.
 A thin notch on the inside lip of the bucket will help keep string in place while moving around,and prior to release of the arrow.
Speaking of the arrow,a great many ways of fastening the string exist. I chose to keep it simple and just drilled a hole through the arrow at the notch end. My string, after winding on spool, was then tied to the arrow leaving a loop big enough to not interfere with the arrow notch after release.. This has held up with much more strength than i figured, but if you choose to make yours with a compound bow,it will have a lot more firing strength so a different solution might be in order.

Step 6: Video proof of success

Picture of Video proof of success
By now I have realized that I have a need to film myself shooting my setup,my problem is i will be testing it alone and need more hands than i got ,so after propping my phone up with a hammer handle and another heavy object i will begin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Rccdt60_0 missed attempt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oupoDaOiqp8 dead center on target
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf1pIa0GJwMspool release
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6deNlsC-hOM first creek test,had no luck but enjoyed it very much.
My daughter can be heard in the background laughing and playing. She thinks daddy is funny with my projects and all.
I hope to fish with this rig tomorrow morning and will post a shot or two of my attempts.
Finally, I will be making a left hand held version to go with my atlatl(last pic)l and try my luck with it fishing as well, that arrow is six foot long
KateinNH1 year ago

That is totally illegal where I am, no bow fishing allowed at all. There are so many people in this state, if it was legal the creeks would be cleaned out in a season.

bobby sissom (author)  KateinNH1 year ago
If only instructable had an illeagal catagorie, I would surely have many more instructables to my credit.
bobby sissom (author)  KateinNH1 year ago
That is sad to hear, anything with a bow is so much fun.
dvjake152 years ago
Great idea! But when i bow fish i just tie really thick fishing line (20 lb test) to an arrow open the bail on my reel and shoot... It works really good but i think im gunna try ur idea out bcuz im bored and hey im on summer break y not
bobby sissom (author)  dvjake152 years ago
I have also tried it your way and actually prefer a rod and reel attached to my compound bow set up, this however was an old recurve without a pre-drilled and tapped hole to attach such a rig.That plus the fact that i was wanting to bow fish that day and did not have a store bought setup handy inspired me to come up with this jury rigged version. It work really well,however another commenter recommended a smaller ring to decrease drag, i agree with them,a smaller ring ,say about the size of a plastic coffee container might work better.
neffk2 years ago
What's the ring for?
bobby sissom (author)  neffk2 years ago
the rings purpose is to provide a place to wind the string that is attached to the arrowand keep it out of the way as you shoot.
Henge2 years ago
I wish that was legal where I from.
bobby sissom (author)  Henge2 years ago
Alas, if only instructables had an illegal section(for the true dyi'er) I would have many more instructables than what you see.Ohh wait, did I say that out loud,... that was supposed to be the quiet part. What i ment to say is "yeah, restrictions make for dull afternoons"
calikoala3 years ago
with the cheap cost of helmet cams, just invest in one of those..
bobby sissom (author)  calikoala3 years ago
spend money??? but it would be so much harder to make another instructable showing how to make one from scratch and teach others to think in a diy mode. lol i can see if it is cheap enough but making it yourself is very gratifying.
kwhit1902113 years ago
While this might be a niffty way to go fishing. It took me having a stint in the service to find out just how you are supposed to fish. Up to that time I used a rod & reel. When I went into the service I found out that there is a much better way to fish & that is by using hand gernades. Now, that the way to go fishing, for sure.
Great resourcefulness! Turning less into more is always awesome. Well done!!! Consider using a smaller coil size as it will reduce drag and increase accuracy and range. Keep up the terrific ingenuity!
jaydoo983 years ago
Great way to improve your archery skills. Be careful with species, zones, and regulations. Not all areas allow bowfishing for all species; and I am sure you will need a license.
bobby sissom (author)  jaydoo983 years ago
all rules and regulations apply,only roughing fish alloowed here in oklahoma,perch carp,drum,gar. However i hunt and fish on my own property, so no license needed
jgraznak3 years ago
Having used various bowfishing and string tracking setups, I think that you are eventually going to hate having the line attached to the nock. The first time you get excited by a big fish and loop a bit of extra line in the bowstring or around your thumb things going to be action packed. Attaching the line to the "pointy part" will fix that. You can modify a snap swivel by flattening it a bit with a hammer and bending the snap side 90 degrees. Screw that between your fishing point and the arrow ferrule. This also makes thing easy when you actually hit a fish. Assuming you don't shoot through the critter, push the arrow through, unscrew the point and pull the shaft and string back through. Otherwise, just unsnap the line and pull it back through.

Love the bucket idea, I can't see from the photos, but I'd guess that using bolts with countersunk heads might make the line reel off more smoothly than round headed types.

Thanks for a great 'structible.
bobby sissom (author)  jgraznak3 years ago
the screws i used were round headed but tiny,have not had any bad luck from them yet,love your swivel idea and might impliment it soon ,i like the thought of a quick release,from string to arrow,... in the past i have used smaller store bought reels like mine and loved bigger fish, never had a time when frustration over rode the excitement level,in the videos i am simply useing target practice arrows and tho i have carried a spare on three trips,I have not need to hook it up yet.
Archergal523 years ago
Nice work!

Your last picture makes me think of an atlatl with a dart on it. :) I think some folks fish with them too, where permitted.
bobby sissom (author)  Archergal523 years ago
You hit the nail on the head,my last sentence says i will try to make a hand held version to go with my atlatl,I included the pic of the atlatl i made last year to see if any interest might get stirred up in it, The dart shown is made from arrows pieced together with smaller arrow inserts and six foot long
Congratulations on making the Instrucables newsletter. I love this.
bobby sissom (author)  dustinandrews3 years ago
So, Thats what happened,I have been keeping tabs all day from my phone and been blown away from the sheer number of views
thank you
and a big thanks to instructables
rondust3 years ago
As usual after the fact sometimes another idea comes to mind.

The notches you cut in the rim edge could be used to form the bracket to attach the rim to the bow.
Just cut the bucket another 2.5cm lower so you have a deeper notch to cut, but instead of cutting it ALL out, make a tab by just cutting the side slots and folding it down to form a mount point L bracket for the clamps.
Less materials needed and the rim for the string is smooth as there are no catching points for the string as it unwindes.

I have a commercial fishing bow, the arrows are cheap in the USA, I would recommend you use them, string mounts to a sliding device on the arrow, my bow is a compound made by Browning.
Great Instructable by the way.
bobby sissom (author)  rondust3 years ago
a most excellent suggestionon the brackets,with my recurve the strength is not to great,if i was shooting a compound i would most likely have gone a heavier duty route
In my quest to catch and eat every kind of freshwater fish in New Hampshire, www.catch-m-all.com we've done some bowfishing for carp (no success) but I think I will make and try this...I also will share this on the catch-m-all facebook page because it's fantastic!
Thanks for sharing
bobby sissom (author)  potatomansoup3 years ago
Please do share, I am honored you want to.
Shared, and can't wait to try it!
Oh and thanks for the page like, our agent (that's fun to say) says we need 10,000 facebook fans... so every new "like" helps... I think I am going carp fishing this Wednesday, if I can scrounge the time I will make this...
Dr.Bill3 years ago
That does not look like a re-curve bow. It looks more like an English long bow or just something smaller for target shooting.
bobby sissom (author)  Dr.Bill3 years ago
It is an old practice 45lbs. Bow,to me if it is not a compound it is a recurve
Dr.Bill Dr.Bill3 years ago
Good idea though. I give it 5 stars.
Qnlfg813 years ago
cool project. I saw a project from one of the duel survival guys using a wrist rocket. he had an interesting idea as to how to attach the fishing line to the arrow. He attached 1 piece heavy duty fishing line to both ends of the arrow by winding and gluing one end just before the arrow tip and the other end just before the arrow knock. It will look like a string running the length of the arrow just shy of the arrow length.
Next he attached a leader to the end of his fishing line and hooked it on the string on the arrow. It allowed him to pull the arrow back while the fishing line leader slid to the arrow tip. when fired the fishing line leader would slide along the arrow string to the back of the arrow near the arrow knock.
Toga_Dan3 years ago
Cool project. I'll have to try that with one or another projectile.
SWV17873 years ago
OK, I think there is no way around it, this gets top marks for bad-ass points...
My only concern is that you might need some sort of reel system so you don't cut up your palms trying to pull a struggling fish in by hand.
bobby sissom (author)  SWV17873 years ago
Do to the wieght of the arrow the fish does not struggle to hard,these are just creek fish and not to big, The mason string i chose is pretty thick and has been very easy to wind,with the sheer size of the bucket it is also very fast to retreive, Had one mishap were the string wrapped aroud my finger as i shot but besides scaring me it did not hurt, but brought the arrow to a complete stop mid flight. I have since made sure the string is properly out of the way with each shot,... no fish yet but loads of fun
bobby sissom (author)  bobby sissom3 years ago
loved your innertube bow grip idea by the way
Thank you very much
Now THAT is an awesome idea. Love the noise it makes when the string starts to go. Can't wait to see photos of what you get with it!
bobby sissom (author)  jessyratfink3 years ago
I find the noise very satisfying as well,it adds to the feeling of excitement, So far the most extreme thing i've seen was a water snake and a pesky horsefly,... that and the rock i was standing on tilting just as i shot at a large fish.lol
bobby sissom (author) 3 years ago
ha ha on the last video i had my phone upside down and tucked into my ball cap,which was also backward. It felt verey strange trying to fish with a small brick attached to my forehead. i might have to consider making a head strap mount to hold the phone in the proper position for better views of the shot being made. Hope you enjoy might attempt tho.